Van Gogh and the seasons …

The winter masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria NGV is an event I look forward to with much anticipation every year. Wondering what grand treasures will be showcased makes the wait worthwhile and this year was no different. So, in its final days I decided to brave the cold, and the incredibly large crowds, and head to the NGV to explore Van Gogh and the Seasons.

The exhibition, I must say, was incredible. I had never seen any of his works in the flesh before so this was definitely a treat for me. There is a depth to Van Gogh’s artistry that goes beyond the bold colouring that you notice on first glance. His work really does evoke a sensory feeling, each brushstroke makes you feel as though you can almost see movement which I guess is what made Van Gogh such a profound artist.

And although the pictures I snapped do not do his work any justice they are however a lovely reminder of the beauty he saw in every season. From the regenerative beauty of blooms in the spring to the dormant and bleak landscapes of winter, his pieces really do reflect the circle of life that still has me pondering.

Advertisements

Cheesy like Sunday morning …

Autumn in Melbourne is proving to be a little schizophrenic of late. This past Friday alone was winter like, rainy and bleak to say the least, and yet today the sun had decided to grace us with its warmth. So, with this sudden change, dear husband and I felt it was enough of an incentive to get out and about for a spot of breakfast at Toasta and Co. and enjoy the sun whilst it lasted.

Toasta and Co. has been on my must try wish list for sometime now. Starting off as a food truck and now a bricks and mortar cafe located in a lovely leafy spot on Adderley Street in West Melbourne, the cheese toasties they are known for were well worth the wait. Dear husband and I decided to get our teeth into the Brekky toastie … a three cheese, fried egg, streaky bacon, relish and rocket concoction that hit the spot perfectly and with a cup of delicious Allpress coffee it was a satisfying and very tasty start to the day.

And since we had our little bundle of fur with us, Master Hudson, we capped off our morning outing with a stroll around the surrounding neighbourhood to take in the beautiful colours of the season.

Down the garden path …

Melbourne certainly is buzzing and with this Indian summer slowly coming to an end and autumn beginning to make its mark (bye bye daylight savings) my latest outing revolved around the changing of the seasons and what better way to experience the transition than to see it through the eyes of nature. So, yesterday I headed down to the Carlton gardens for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show to have a peek.

I have been attending the show for many years now, marvelling and being inspired to be a better gardener but this year it was a little different. Last year I completed a floristry course, hence my absence from posting, and this year my perspective of the show was completely different now that I was armed with the knowledge I gained through my course. I noticed elements of design that I would’ve normally been oblivious to, paying attention to the mechanics of how installations were constructed and I guess for the first time I really appreciated the show and all the hard work that is poured into it.

They say that pictures speak volumes so I guess I’ll let these snaps show you what a wonderful event this was and how inspired I am to continue making flowers and gardening apart of my everyday life. It truly is the best kind of relaxation therapy and a wonderful way to slow down and connect with the simpler elements in life, especially when modern living seems to revolve around being switched on 24/7. So with that, let me guide you down the garden path, as we stop to smell the roses at the Melbourne flower show.

A birthday wish at the Farm Cafe …

A birthday brunch at the Farm Cafe is fast becoming a tradition for me and my husband ever since we adopted our fur baby Hudson. I am always mindful about where Hudson is welcome and I must say that we are very fortunate to have a lot of dog friendly venues dotted around Melbourne. The Farm Cafe attached to the Collingwood Children’s Farm happens to be one of those wonderful places.

So, last week when I celebrated my birthday there was no questioning where we were heading to enjoy some yummy locally produced goodness. The place is always welcoming, the staff attentive and most importantly Hudson is a part of the celebrations. It’s the best birthday wish I could ask for … tranquillity, good food and extra good company in the form of my two favourite boys as I celebrated another year younger. And for that I am very grateful …

Melbourne style on parade …

It is hard to believe that another year has come to pass with the VAMFF here in marvellous Melbourne, and no matter how prepared I am it nevertheless seems to creep up on me almost unexpectedly. But each year it also promises a new season of sartorial styles to contemplate as the weather cools and this year it did not disappoint.

My VAMFF adventure began with an Australian premiere screening of Christian Dior: The Refinement of a Lost Paradise (L’élégance du Paradis Perdu) at ACMI As a nod to the House of Dior’s seventieth anniversary, and knowing that the National Gallery of Victoria NGV will be hosting a premiere exhibition later this year to commemorate this milestone, the documentary was a lovely prelude focusing on Christian’s early upbringing in Granville. An insightful piece, it showcased how his family and childhood home influenced and forged his path as a designer. This documentary is must see viewing for any one that has an appreciation for the iconic design house that single-handedly revolutionised fashion through the New Look, and managed to endure successfully as a brand long after its founders sudden passing sixty years ago. It was a lovely tribute to say the least, and an unexpected but welcomed gesture bestowed upon patrons after the screening by our hosts, ACMI,  included a few samples of Dior perfumes to enjoy. A nice touch indeed.

The next stop on my VAMFF to do list was the Royal Exhibition Building to attend the premiere David Jones Gala runway in order to get a firsthand account of what to expect this season. I had never attended this runway event previously and unlike the other runway shows this was a little longer in terms of duration. Featuring the largest designer lineup of the festival, the showcase was rich in content, perfectly setting the tone of what we can expect to find in stores this Autumn-Winter for consumption.

Highlighting the talents of both local and international designers such as Thurley, Camilla and Marc, Alexander McQueen, Valentino and Scanlan and Theodore to name but a few, the show itself was a pulsating, visual treat set to the live performance by Paul Mac. Personal highlights and looks to steal for me this season included the gorgeous lace ensembles from Lover , Thurley, Alice McCall, Manning Cartell and Nicholas. I was also partial to the beautiful winter inspired florals from Camilla and Marc and the vibrancy of the Russian Doll inspired garments from Carla Zampatti. And to cap off the evening a new issue of Jones (David Jones in house magazine) was duly handed out to patrons for further inspection that would no doubt assist in sales.

Next on my must see was e-tailer Next UK’s Australian launch runway, featuring the lovely Rebecca Judd and Samantha Harris. Next Australia’s lineup was fun, affordable, on trend but most importantly totally wearable. Featuring mens, womens and kids wear my favourite featured items again would have to be their lace offerings which I found to be easy to wear for everyday and would no doubt be kinder on my purse.

In a similar vein as Next Australia, Myer’s in store runway was also good value. The second floor walk ways of the Bourke Street store were converted into a runway, giving all patrons both seated for the event and those who were actually shopping, a delightful peek into what is currently in store for purchase. Joining Myer ambassadors Jennifer Hawkins and Kris Smith on this merry go round parade was also Tim Robards, he of the Bachelor Australia fame which delighted many of the patrons in the crowd. And to add to the fun we were also gifted with a deluxe sample bag of goodies to road test which is always a bonus.

Concluding the spectacle of all the runway events I, along with my sister who was my partner in crime for the duration of the festival, also spent some time taking a leisurely wander about the VAMFF Plaza enjoying all the food and live entertainment on offer, as well as popping into the Priceline beauty salon where we were both treated to a wonderful makeup and hair styling session by the generous ladies at Priceline. A perfectly lovely way to end this adventure, until next time. ​

​​

 

The Flying Dutchmen …

img_1262 Where has the time gone? It has been quite a while since I last posted, life kind of gets in the way and before you know it a year has passed. But, alas here we are and what better way to start off the year than with a wonderful pictorial celebrating the creative artists that are Viktor and Rolf.

Flowerbomb without doubt is my signature scent and I feel that the gentlemen responsible for such a defining fragrance, for me, are indeed worthy of an exhibition. So, when I heard that the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) would be working in collaboration with the designers to curate an exhibition celebrating their work I could not contain my excitement. The moment it opened I was there with bells on and it truly did not disappoint.

Avant-garde, innovative, cerebral, these are just a few terms that spring to mind when taking in their creations. And with over 40 works on show from the Houses’ archives, Viktor and Rolf: Fashion Artists is the perfect nod to celebrate the duo’s 25th anniversary.

Wandering about I couldn’t help but liken their pieces to a work of art, they seemed to just leap out of the frame and come to life. It’s wonderful. Adding to this wonder were the beautifully crafted Victorian dolls that are dotted throughout the exhibition. These dolls have become synonymous with Viktor and Rolf, all handcrafted by a Belgian doll maker with each doll wearing an intricately crafted miniaturised version of a key collection piece. It’s incredible. Consequently, Viktor and Rolf have carried on this tradition for each of their major collections adding a new doll dressed in an emblematic design. It’s quite symbolic really, the perfect capsule piece that represents the essence of the times through their designs for posterity.

One of the personal highlights for me in this showcase would have to be the Timepiece installation that was specially commissioned for the exhibition … a Victorian doll walking the runway. Performance art at its finest and simply marvellous, it was a lovely way to complete the experience.

But, I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves and hope that you will be inspired by these fantastical creations, just as I have. And if you are in Melbourne and adore fashion then this is an experience you do not want to miss, but you will have to hurry as there are only a few weeks to go until it all comes to an end.

So with that I say happy anniversary V&R … here’s to a delightful design duo that truly are originals.


 

Hail, Tomato!

  

I love tomatoes and have been growing them for years. It’s such a humble staple in my garden so the thought of a festival dedicated to this wonderful ingredient is always going to grab my attention and time. So without hesitation, dear husband and I trekked to Edendale Community Farm in Eltham today to help celebrate the Melbourne Tomato Festival’s second offering. 

Like last years inaugural event, there were many local producers on hand to share their knowledge and give us an opportunity to purchase some of the goodies they had on offer. Other noteworthy aspects of the festival included cooking demonstrations from the likes of celebrity chef’s Guy Grossi, Karen Martini, and Matt Wilkinson as well as passata and mozzarella making workshops for those interested in making their own.

As an avid gardener, I found the in conversation pieces highlighting the art of organic composting from the Diggers Club, and the informative session from Rooftop Honey on the importance of bees a particular bonus. But on a whole there really was just about something for everyone … and with the sun beaming and the endless amounts of yummy treats along the way it was a lovely way to spend a lazy Sunday in the Summer sun.  

   
    
   

Christmas in July …

image
Pope Joan

Winter is well and truly here and what better way to soak up the cold than to enjoy a little bit of Christmas in July. One of our local eats, Pope Joan, has been embracing the comforts of the season with themed menus every month to get us through winter. So with that in mind dear husband and I decided to indulge in their July offerings.

While I had every intention of indulging in the Christmas themed three course menu, once I was faced with the sheer volume of food on offer it proved to be a bit much for me to enjoy as a weeknight meal.  It was perhaps best reserved as a weekend indulgence instead, so dear husband and I have vowed to return and experience it before the month is out.

But in the meantime the meals we decided on did not disappoint. Dear husband enjoyed a lamb shoulder dish that was served with a tasty cauliflower gratin and some crispy kale. I on the other hand indulged in Pope Joan’s signature Chicken Kiev and winter slaw dish and we both picked at some sides of heirloom carrots and thickly cut chips. Yum comes to mind, as does pure bliss when describing it. It really embodied the ultimate in comfort food … it was like the perfect, most comforting hug one could get and I enjoyed every bite. And with the rain pouring steadily outside as we ate, it just added to the atmosphere of a cozy evening indeed.

kiev
Image courtesy of goodfood.com.au

Winter solstice at the Collingwood farm

It’s amazing how quickly a year goes by. It only felt like yesterday that dear husband and I were revelling in the wintery festivities at the Collingwood Children’s farm for their annual bonfire night and here we are celebrating again.

What I love about this event is it’s community spirit, it’s so welcoming. And with local food and drink offerings on hand it’s the perfect inducement to spend an evening out in the chilly outdoors leading up to the main event, the all important bonfire. It definitely warms one in the wintery cold, so with that I say here’s to the winter solstice and the bonfire that burns so furiously. Cheers!

image

image